Requirements for All Students
Professionalism implies a respect and courtesy for others in our educational setting and chosen profession. We expect our students to maintain the highest standards of professionalism in the classroom, in clinical settings, in the university community, and in related public settings. All that you do and say, and the way you present yourself visually either elevates or diminishes your professional image in the eyes of others. In addition, what each of us does affects the way all of us are viewed.
You worked hard to get into nursing school. Now it is up to you to demonstrate respect and contribute to a nursing school experience that is positive and productive for all. Some expectations for creating a positive learning environment are:
- Remember to turn off your cell phone as you enter the classroom (do not make or receive phone calls while in class, and please, no personal text messaging!).
- Most nursing classes are challenging. Side conversations while faculty members are teaching distract those around you and infringe on their learning. Help each other by ensuring that private conversations are held only outside of class.
- Respect those who are teaching, whether your professors or classmates giving presentations. Give them your full attention. Keep newspapers and other non-related reading materials out of class. Learning is as much what you put into it as what someone else teaches you.
- The moment you have a problem with class material (poor test grade, don't understand some of the material, etc.), IMMEDIATELY ask for help. Your fellow students and professors are excellent resources for help. In addition, you can see Marsha Baker, Director of Diversity and Enrichment, in NU 122. She can help you arrange for a tutor, refer you to a success coach, or provide other needed assistance. The staff in the Center for Academic Affairs (CAA), also in NU 122, can offer campus resources to you as well.
Professionalism is of the utmost importance in your clinical courses. In clinicals, you are working in hospitals and other health care settings, representing the IU School of Nursing and every other nursing student. You never know who may be listening to your elevator and hallway conversations or observing your interactions with faculty, clinical staff, patients, and the public. Discretion and confidentiality are critical. Professionalism is not something you turn off and on. Rather, it is a way of life, a personal standard of excellence, and an individual choice to be the best you can be.
Timeliness is one of the critically important clinical (and classroom) expectations. Being on time means being present and having everything ready for class or clinical—NOT just coming in by the deadline—and remaining for the entire class.
Professional attire for clinicals
(A clinical is when you are on a unit in any health agency for any school-related reason—even looking up patient information.)
- Khakis and red polo shirt (starting 3rd semester)—clean, neat, pressed, and tucked in.
- Designated red scrubs (3rd semester and beyond)— clean, neat, and pressed.
- In cool weather, students may wear a white lab coat or plain white sweater, or a white long sleeved shirt with no visible printing or logo (under scrub top).
- Nursing identification tag/JagTag must be worn at all times.
- Shoes—solid white and clean (no open-toe!).
- Hair—clean and neat. Longer hair must be pulled up or back.
- Nails—short, no polish or nail extensions.
- Jewelry—wedding ring, watch, and ONE pair of small earrings are permissible (no dangles).
- Piercings—all other jewelry worn in piercings must be removed (nose, eyebrow, lip, and other ear piercings).
- Tattoos—must be covered.
- Makeup—subtle, natural looking.
- Cleanliness is expected.
- No gum chewing or smell of cigarettes.
At times you may disagree with your instructors and with other students. Disagreement and discussion are a productive part of higher education and are to be expected. There are appropriate and productive ways to handle disagreements and concerns. Remember: question or complain in private; praise in public.
- When you have a question or disagreement, it is appropriate and important to talk with your professor or classmate in a positive, professional way. State what your concern is and how you feel about it. As adults, you can discuss the issue and hear each other's side of it.
- In the rare instance in which you are not able to resolve a disagreement or concern with your instructor, you may contact the undergraduate coordinator responsible for that class.
- A positive attitude and optimistic outlook will go a long way in all situations.
Remember: you are no longer competing with other nursing students. Now that you are in the nursing program your only competition is with yourself. Nursing school can be very stressful—tremendous amounts of reading, multiple assignments, regular math tests, high standards, and so on. Ask for help!
- In order to be successful as a student, you must take care of yourself. There are campus, school, and community resources available to you. Please visit our Center for Academic Affairs (CAA) in NU 122 if you need to talk with someone. The student services staff cares about your success and wants to help you. They can put you in touch with various resources.
- The School of Nursing has appeal processes (grade appeal; admission, progression, graduation appeal) should they be needed. Contact the CAA (NU 122) for more information.